UFC 236 – The Rematch Seven Years Coming
UFC 236 Facts for the Main Events
- Max Holloway undefeated since August 2013
- Dustin Poirier undefeated (4-0-1) since 2016
- Holloway trying to become only the seventh fight to win championships in multiple divisions
- Gastelum 5-3 (1 NC) after starting his professional MMA career 10-0
Adesanya 5-0, with two TKOs since joining the UFC in February 2018
Main Event – Dustin Poirier vs. Max Holloway
After seven years, Dustin Poirier and Max Holloway finally meet for a rematch in the Octagon. The two first fought at Max Holloway’s UFC debut at UFC 143. Poirier defeated Holloway by submission in the first round. The fight remains the only loss by submission for Holloway in his pro MMA career. UFC betting odds have Holloway as a moderate favourite to win on Saturday, April 13.
Although Poirier is 1-0 against Holloway, much has changed since the two fought in 2012. Holloway’s last loss came against Conor McGregor in August 2013. Since then, Holloway is on a 13-fight winning streak. Holloway has won through TKO, KO, submission and decision over his winning streak, proving his skill and versatility as a fighter. He has beaten plenty of talented fighters including former Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo (twice), Brian Ortega and Anthony Pettis.
This fight against Poirier also marks Holloway first Lightweight tilt since joining the UFC. Holloway fought his first four professional fights as a Lightweight (winning the X-1 Lightweight Championship) before dropping down to Featherweight. In fact, Holloway made his Featherweight debut against now Lightweight Dustin Poirier.
Poirier is a skilled challenger for Holloway. Poirier is an accurate striker with the ability to get the fight onto the mat (versus standing up). His biggest weakness is his takedown accuracy. At 41% accuracy, his takedown success rate is below average for a featherweight. Against some fighters, he can recover from misses, but against Holloway (who is currently ranked as the fourth-best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC), any miss opens up a big opportunity for Holloway to land significant strikes and win the match.
Pick: Max Holloway (-260) to Win
Co-Main Event – Kelvin Gastelum vs. Israel Adesanya
The other co-main event of the night is between middleweight fighters Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya. The bout is for the interim middleweight championship, as current champion Robert Whittaker is recovering from abdominal surgery. Opening UFC 236 odds see Israel Adesanya as the favourite to win the interim Middleweight belt.
Kelvin Gastelum was initially scheduled to fight Whittaker back in February, but the injury delayed his chances at his first UFC championship. Gastelum was an underdog against Robert Whittaker. Most online sportsbooks have Gastelum as an underdog against Israel Adesanya for similar reasons. Gastelum is a wide-bodied fighter who wants to get in close with the competition. From there his approach is to land enough punches to either win by TKO, score enough points for a decision in his favour or knock the opponent down and attempt a submission. However, against a long fighter like Adesanya, his normal approach may need some tweaking.
Adesanya is the best fighter coming up in the Middleweight ranks. His reach of 80’ is unparalleled in the class, and one of the big reasons Adesanya is 16-0 in his professional MMA career. He should use his reach advantage of eight-and-a-half inches (plus a five-inch leg reach difference) over Gastelum to help him control the match. Even if Gastelum can defend the strikes well (and avoid a KO/TKO), Adesanya is a smart fighter. When he fought Anderson Silva at UFC 234, the veteran spent much of the night fending off Adesanya’s attacks. The result – although Silva was not knocked out, he did not do enough to score many points and lost the bout to Adesanya by unanimous decision.
Look for a similar type of fight at UFC 236, with the best UFC odds of the night being on Adesanya Israel winning the match outright over Kelvin Gastelum.
Pick: Israel Adesanya (-185) to Win
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:
Quick Picks on Other Fights at UFC 236
Khalil Rountree (+125) over Eryk Anders (-160)
The changes in weight classes for this fight should give Khalil Rountree the edge in quickness, which may be all the difference in such an even match on paper.
Ovince Saint Preux (-115) over Nikita Krylov (-115)
Saint Preux’s ability to defend against takedown attempts will help him keep the match upright, where he has the edge over Krylov (who wins nearly 70% of his matches through submissions).
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